Digital Natives and ChatGPT. (Not what you think)

In regards to this Scientific American article. AI in education. Ah yes. The big conundrum. We forget students are still kids, still learning how the world works. Their brain is still developing. How does AI impact that? Yes, they are digital natives, but the author observed that “…students feel insignificant or unintelligent when faced with such technology.” A professor at Elon University wrote a thought-provoking article for Scientific American showing the human side of students using AI.
Instead of blocking AI or sticking his head in the sand, he brought it into the classroom and built an essay-writing assignment, where students were required to use AI. What he found was was unexpected: “…unfortunately, even the students who tried to use it responsibly (that is, without just cheating wholesale) did not really understand the technology.

Chat GPT

A common and critical error is that many students mistakenly believe it is an infallible search engine. The results of his experimental assignment were eye-opening: Every one of the 63 essays contained confabulations and errors. Most students were surprised by this, and many were less impressed by the technology than they had been before doing the homework.” Two students commented about the experience, which shows us that students value their own learning far more than we give them credit for.
“…the most crucial element of schoolwork is not the course material or grade: The actual thinking processes a student undergoes while working through an assignment are more important than simply turning in the completed task. The details in the work seldom matter as much as this thinking. ” Another commented with an interesting observation -not at all in line with the messaging we hear and see, “…At its best, ChatGPT can be a versatile resource, introducing fresh, interactive ideas into the classroom for both teachers and students to enjoy.” Just as with any new digital tool, we will survive AI.
#Scientific American #artificialintelligence #education

About Doug Bergman

Professional Educator
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